I’ve ranted about this before. Many times, here and elsewhere. Professional athletes shouldn’t be role models. If/when I have kids, I’ll go out of my way to ensure that they look up to a variety of professionals from a variety of fields, most of whom should be able to set the right example.
Generally, NFL football players don’t qualify. Too many never learned how to manage their money, their personal lives and even sometimes their professional lives.
But once in a while a player comes along and gives you hope. And if I were a father with a son or daughter with allegiances to the Green Bay Packers, I’d point them to these contract-related comments from wide receiver Jordy Nelson as soon as possible.
“My wife and I have enjoyed it,” Nelson said Sunday of his time in Green Bay. “Let’s see, it’s 6 years going on 7 years now. We don’t want to go anywhere else. We love it here. We want to be here, and hopefully we can get to that point.”
As for Nelson, he does not seem to be concerned about hurting his bargaining power by going public with his preference to remain with the Packers.
Nor does he seem like he has given his agent, Vann McElroy, any directives to try to make up for any money he might have left on the table by signing his last extension before his statistical spike of the last three years.
“What I got in that last deal, I’ll never spend it all anyway,” Nelson said last week. “So I’m not worried about it.”
Not to say you don’t have the right to spend cash when you’re a millionaire. I would. I know most of my 20-something-year-old friends would. But if you have a head on your shoulders it should be nearly impossible to run out of money once you’ve received a contract worth $14 million over four years, as Nelson did.
If you invest it, even conservatively, you’re good. And if you buy real estate rather than cars and keep your entourage in check, you’re good.
I know, easier said than done. I’m not a millionaire. I’ve never been in those shoes. But that doesn’t change the fact that Nelson is doing it the right way while guys like Vince Young have done it the wrong way. Upbringing is a factor, and so it’s not necessarily Young’s fault that he threw away all of his money, but he forfeits the right to be a positive example for kids, regardless of the circumstances.
Comments like the one Nelson made above get buried because they aren’t controversial or provocative. Instead, we hear about Colin Kaepernick’s monster deal and a potential Vernon Davis holdout. Sadly, that’s what most kids see when perusing the web to read about spots.
And so it’s up to us to change the focus.
I’m not holding my breath.